Oak Harbor High School softball team finished the non-league portion of its schedule with two losses, falling 17-9 at Burlington-Edison Saturday, March 23, and to visiting Arlington 5-4 Monday, March 25.
The Wildcats (1-5) start Western Conference play at home against Marysville Getchell (1-4) at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 27.
Against Burlington-Edison (4-2), Oak Harbor fell behind 6-0 after two innings, then used a four-run third to jump back into the game.
Two walks and two hits, including a double by Emily Saar, ignited the rally.
However, the Tigers quickly regained the momentum by scoring five in their half of the third.
Oak Harbor added four in the fifth to make it 12-8. A two-run home run by Shawna Steele and singles by Natalie Fiallos, Morgan Young and Saar keyed the rally, but Oak Harbor would get no closer.
Fiallos, Saar and Young each finished with two hits; Lexie Findley and Kelsey Rankin also added singles.
The loss to unbeaten Arlington (4-0) was a heart breaker. The Eagles led 3-1 heading into the sixth when Oak Harbor scored three to take the lead. The Wildcats, however, where unable to hang on as Arlington scored two in the top of the seventh for the win.
The Eagles scored in the first on a double and three walks. They added another run in the fourth on a single, error and single.
Oak Harbor made it 2-1 in the fourth when Findley was hit by a pitch and scored on an error after Fiallos’ single.
After the Eagles scored again in the sixth on an error, Oak Harbor rallied for three runs to take the temporary lead. Riley Thompson, Findley and Fiallos singled to load the bases. Steele, on a two-strike pitch, ripped a single down the left-field line to score two. After a ground out moved the runners up, Young hit a sacrifice fly to right to plate the go-ahead run.
Four hits and an error helped Arlington score the winning runs in the seventh.
Oak Harbor coach Jess Boswell said her club made only three errors in each game, but each played a roll in the scoring and were especially damaging in the close loss to Arlington.
While there were some defensive mistakes, there were also great plays, particularly by center fielder Young against Arlington. Young made diving, over-the-shoulder and shoe-string catches and a heads-up back-up play throwing a runner out at third after a teammate misplayed a ball.
Boswell said pitcher Saar and catcher Steele combined for a good game against Arlington.
She added, “We are learning as we go. We are focusing on effort and getting back to the basics. We are consistently playing more competitively as the season moves forward. The girls did a good job today staying in the game and fighting back.”